Hello to 2012 Sugar Cookies

I would have posted this as “my unfinished holiday cookies”, but I got some free time yesterday and decided to not procrastinate anymore.  The sugar cookies held up really well and the basic recipe that comes with each Ann Clark Cookie Cutter is one perfect recipe.  Few ingredients and that cup of butter just screams “oh-my-goodness!”.  I’ve never done any rolled cookies, and was happy with drop cookies until Ann Clark Ltd. sent me 3 cookie cutters to entice me to do some cookie decorating.  The cookie cutters shapes I got (the butterfly, the ice cream cone, and the sun) sliced through the cookie dough cleanly and sharply…now that really inspired me to move on to the next step which is decorating.   Well, I tried to complete the project  before Christmas, before CPRTV’s pink brunch, before Glenn sister’s Christmas dinner…but the holiday marathon baking just prevented me from even deciding on what to use as icing.  Should I go with buttercream, or sugar glaze or royal icing.  I chose the last….and of course, with meringue powder instead of fresh egg whites.  Wouldn’t want problems for kids who’d be enjoying these cookies.

Thanks again to Ann Clark, Ltd. (and also to Susan Harrison) for these wonderful cookie cutters.  And Ann Clark makes a number of great shapes like ghost, bat, haunted house, cat, pumpkin,  apple, football, football helmet, maple leaf, oak leaf, pink ribbon, school bus, turkey and others.  You can see the entire line of cookie cutters at http://www.annclark.com/category/traditional-cookie-cutters/a.

Sugar Cookies

Cream together:
1 c. butter
2/3 c. sugar

Beat in:
1 egg

Add:
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 c. sifted flour

Mix until all ingredients are well blended. Chill dough 3-4 hours before rolling (I’d start rolling next time after 2 hours though).

Preheat oven to 350º. Roll out 1/4” thick and cut. Bake about 8-10 minutes or until barely colored. Remove from cookie sheets and cool on wire racks.

Cookies can be frosted and decorated or eaten just plain.

Frosting

3/4 cup powdered sugar (sifted)
1 Tb. butter
1 Tb. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. lemon juice

Melt butter, combine all ingredients and beat until smooth.  Add food coloring if desired.  Yield 1/3 cup

Royal Icing with Meringue Powder

2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons meringue powder
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) water

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, starting on low speed.  Increase to medium speed  and beat until mixture is stiff and glossy, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Add more powdered sugar, if necessary, to obtain “piping” consistency, about 1/2 cup more.  Cover icing with a damp cloth.

Tips:

1) Roll cookie dough using plastic food wrap sheets

2) Don’t skip on sifting powdered sugar; this prevents any lumps clogging on decorating tips

3) To use icing to cover large surfaces of the cookie or “flooding”, add water, a teaspoon at a time

BOB RECIPE: Frosted Soft Sugar Cookies

from:  Domino Sugar
Product:  Granulated Sugar

BOB RECIPE:  Frosted Soft Sugar Cookies

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/3 cups butter or margarine
2 eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt

Buttercream Frosting for Cookies:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 (1 lb) pkg Domino confectioners sugar (approx 3 3/4 cups)
2 teaspoons vanilla or almond extract
1 teaspoon water
1 to 2 drops food coloring

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large bowl, combine sugar and butter or margarine and beat with an electric mixer until creamy, about 5 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition.  Add vanilla, scrapin down the sides fo the bowl.  In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt.  Add flour mixture to butter mixture one cup at a time, and blend until all the flour mixture is incorporated.  Roll into 1-inch balls, and place on an ungreased cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 10-15 minutes until the bottoms turn light brown.  let stand for 5 minutes before removing to cool on a wire rack.  Frost with Buttercream Frosting for Cookies.

Makes 24 to 30 cookies.

Buttercream Frosting for Cookies:  In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth.  Add cream of tartar.  Add confectioners sugar one cup at a time, blending until fully incorporated.  Add extract and water, mixing until combined.  Whip frosting at a high speed for 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.  Add food coloring.

For an extra special touch, you can garnish your frosted cookies wiht colored sugar.  To create, simply take 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and mix with a few drops of food coloring of your choice.

For more delicious recipes, visit:  http://www.dominosugar.com

BOB RECIPE: Sugar Cookies

from:  Bakers & Chefs
Product:  Confectioners’ or powdered sugar (Sam’s Club)

BOB RECIPE: Sugar Cookies

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup btter flavor shortening
1 cup candy covered chocolate (optional)

In large mixing bowl, beat shortening, powdered sugar, egg and vanilla at low speed for 3o seconds to blend  Then mix at high speed for 1 minute or until light and fluffy.  Scrape sides of bowl often.

Add flour, one-fourth cup at a time; blend at low speed 20-30 seconds after each addition until well mixed.  Mix candy in by hand.

Drop by teaspoonful, 2 inches apart, on ungreased baking sheets.  Lightly grease the flat bottom of a drinking glass, dip glass in sugar, then press cookies in a 2-inch diameter.

Bake in a preheated 350 F oven for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove from baking sheets.  Cool on racks.